It is well with my soul. How often can we say those words and mean them? Life isn’t easy. I don’t think I’ve met a soul who hasn’t seen hard times at some point no matter how picture perfect their lives appear to the world.
Horatio Spafford was a man who suffered much. Horatio lived during the 19th century. He was a wealthy man and one of faith, but tragedy struck and he lost his son to scarlet fever, property he invested in to fire, and his four daughters at sea. It was in the aftermath and grief of those losses that Horatio penned the well-known hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.”
And more than 140 years later, his words are still an encouragement, speaking hope and peace to the generations that have come after.
When we’ve come through the other side of our own suffering, what can we do to use it for good? How can we take what we’ve experienced and help those who are going through the same trials?
It’s what we are called to do.
“Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
In more recent days, Aimee Copeland, a young woman who underwent multiple amputations after a near death experience with a flesh eating bacteria, spoke about her difficulties, sharing with the world that it was the mindset and determination you choose to have that will allow you to persevere in spite of the obstacles. One member of her community commented: “I thought I had problems but now that I’ve seen her I know I can stay positive through anything.”
Aimee has used her suffering to be a light and an encouragement to whoever was listening. Each of us can do the same. It will give purpose to our pain and the opportunity to turn the ashes into something beautiful.